Definition of Vegetable Tanned Leather
Vegetable tanned leather is a type of leather that’s been treated using natural materials such as bark, leaves, and fruits. This traditional method of tanning has been used for centuries, and results in a leather that is highly durable.
The process involves the following steps, which can take weeks to complete:
- Raw animal hides are soaked in water to remove dirt and debris then dehaired, either through a mechanical process or using lime.
- The hides are then cut into smaller pieces or left whole depending on the desired end product.
- The pieces are soaked in a tanning solution which is absorbed by the hides and binds with the collagen fibers to create a durable material.
- After soaking, the hides are left to rest for several hours or days to allow the tannin to be absorbed. During this time, they’re agitated to ensure the tannin is distributed evenly.
- Once the tannin is fully absorbed by the hides, they’re removed from the solution and dried, then stretched to remove any wrinkles.
- The dried hides are conditioned using natural oils and fats and stretched by hand to make them supple and soft. This process takes several days.
- Finally, the hides are finished with a top coat of wax or oil to protect from moisture and wear. The leather is then buffed and polished to create a smooth, even surface.
Our leather products are made from vegetable tanned leather that has undergone these steps to ensure you only end up with the best belts, bags, sheaths, and accessories.
Here is a short video on how we made our Hoofpick Belt using our luxurious vegetable tanned leather:
Vegetable tanned leather is characterized by a natural color that ranges from pale beige to rich brown, depending on the type of tannin used.
Vegetable tanned leather is also known for its distinctive aroma, which is often described as earthy and woody.
That’s not all there is to full grain leather, it has other advantages:
- Absence of harmful chemicals make it a sustainable and environmentally responsible choice, which we fully support by using leather obtained through the same process.
- Highly versatile and can be used for a wide range of products, including furniture, bags, belts, shoes, and wallets.
- Its strength and durability make it ideal for heavy-duty applications such as harnesses, saddles, and bookbinding.
- With frequent use, the leather darkens and takes on a rich, deep color that’s unique to each item.
Exposure to moisture and humidity can cause the leather to become stiff and crack, so it's important to keep it dry and to condition it regularly with natural oils or waxes.
Our Last Stand Leather Balm has natural waxes and oils thanks to the beeswax, seed oils and tallow we’ve included. Using it regularly will keep your leather gloves, wallets and sheaths supple.
Example of Vegetable Tanned Leather in a sentence
“My grandfather’s wallet is made from vegetable tanned leather that gives it a rustic look.”
Eco-leather, organic leather, bark-tanned leather.
Related terms for Vegetable Tanned Leather